The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 4, January 24, 2021, Article 4


Syd Martin Numismatic Bibliomania Society President Tom Harrison writes:

"I was saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Syd Martin who served on the NBS Board since 2009. On behalf of the NBS I want to share a word of appreciation and gratitude for the years of dedicated service Syd provided to the NBS. Syd was a staunch enthusiast supporter of the NBS and will be missed by the many people he touched throughout the numismatic community."

Craig McDonald writes:

"Since bursting on the scene, Syd was a true force of nature in our little collecting community. His knowledge and willingness to share information on just about any Colonial series was just one of his many strong suits. He will be sorely missed."

Mike Wierzba writes:

"Syd was a very close friend and a major influence in my life. We had a very close relationship, both in business and personally. I have so many fond memories of my time spent with Syd, talking coins, cigars, bourbon, family, etc. It has been such a crappy year I know for many, but I personally am struggling to comprehend friends that have been taken away far too early the last few months. I will never forget what Syd has done to shape me in so many ways, and his loss is a major one, not just for our hobby, but his amazing family and friends."

Eric Li Cheung writes:

"One of the last times I had seen Syd in person was in summer 2017, when my wife and I hosted him in our new apartment as he was photographing the remainder of my St. Patrick's collection for what turned out to be a real masterpiece of numismatic literature. That was 17 years after I had first met Syd, when he offered me a carpool to my first C-4 Convention as I was a senior in high school. My parents were initially skeptical of my going to a coin convention without their "adult supervision" for a few days, but I guess they became "fast friends" with Syd, and so off I went to the convention where I also met a number of colonial collectors for the first time.

"Syd was always a gentleman, and was perennially so generous with his time and knowledge of the hobby. The C-4 numismatic publication award in his name is a great tribute, and a real honor to the future recipients of the award."

Jeff Rock writes:

"I've known Syd for 30 years or so and I cannot think of a single person I respected more than he. Syd has done so much for our little part of the hobby, and everything he signed up for he did with integrity and passion. Syd was the consummate collector, an intrepid researcher who brought order and understanding to areas that were nothing but chaos for centuries - and he was a friend to all who knew him. RIP, Syd. "I shall never look upon his like again."

David Menchell writes:

"Syd was truly a titan in the pantheon of Colonial numismatic researchers and writers, up there with Crosby, Maris, Miller and Newman. A significant portion of our library shelves are occupied with the books that were the result of his scholarship and labors. Always a gentleman and generous with his time, I always valued his opinions on a wide range of topics. Our hobby has lost one of its greatest contributors and supporters. RIP, Syd."

Craig McDonald writes:

"While I don't recall the exact date, it was most likely in the very early 90s that I was introduced to Syd, while I was still living in PA.

"There was a monthly coin show (3rd Sunday if I recall) held at the Holiday Inn in Montgomeryville PA, about half way between Allentown and Philadelphia. At this show was an old time coin dealer named Byron Hoke. While Byron didn't specialize in Colonials, occasionally he would have a decent coin or two. I still have four VTs, and a similar number of CTs, all purchased from Byron.

"Byron's was always the first table I would visit upon arriving at the show. So one Sunday, after I had already visited his table, I was walking around the rest of the show and walked up the aisle where Byron was, when he called me over to his table. Standing there was a gentleman in (if I recall correctly) a plaid shirt and a leather vest. Byron then proceeded to say, "Craig, let me introduce you to Syd Martin. Syd is thinking about starting to collect Colonials. What books or catalogs can you recommend he start with?"

"At that time, the two main references I carried with me to shows were the 1975 Pinetree EAC Sale and Taylor Sale catalogs (hence my belief that it was probably the early 90s). So I got them out and showed them to Syd.

"We talked for a few minutes and then parted ways. Little did I know the force of nature that was about to be unleashed! And to this day I like to think that perhaps I played just some minuscule part in it."

Ray Williams writes:

"Shortly after becoming C4 president, Angel Pietri was the C4 Newsletter editor and was ready to retire. Under the gun to find a replacement in the window Angel gave me, I was able to recruit Brian Danforth to be editor under the condition I find him someone to help with the technical aspects of publishing. Enter Syd Martin... He agreed to be an editorial assistant. Shortly later, Brian left for Thailand and hasn't been seen since. Dropped into Syd's lap was the entire job of producing our newsletter, which is more of a journal for those unfamiliar with C4. Syd remained the editor of our award winning publication for more than a decade. Syd was one of those friends who would take on a task and you could forget about it - consider it done - no need to follow up. He was one of those that made my presidency so easy."

Anthony Terranova of New York City writes:

"My family and I wish to extend our condolences to his family and to the family of the world of early American numismatic collectors. His loss is immeasurable to me on a personal level. The world has lost one terrific human being."

Numismatic literature dealer Charlie Davis is offering a complete set of Syd's books. -Editor

Four Colonial Coin titles by Syd Martin A complete set of the 4 volumes by Sydney Martin. The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood 1722-1724, 2007, 492 pages [and] The Rosa Americana Coinage of William Wood, 2011, 504 pages [and] French Coinage Specifically for Colonial America by Sydney Martin, 2015, 460 pages [and] Saint Patrick Coinage (for Ireland and New Jersey), 2018, 506 pages, published the Colonial Coin Collector's Club (C4), all in the similar black cloth with dust jackets, well illustrated. All new copies.

For more information, or to order, see:
A Complete Set of the 4 titles published by C4 on Colonial Numismatics (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Fricke E-Sylum ad01 Civil War Coins

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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